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Oct 2012

Age, Statin Use, and the Risk for Incident Parkinson Disease

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India.

Arch Neurol. 2012;69(10):1381. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2012.1132

In an analysis of prospectively collected observational data, Gao et al1 found that statin use was associated with a lower risk for incident Parkinson disease. This benefit with statins was apparent only in subjects younger than 60 years at baseline and only with at least 6 years of use. I suggest an interpretation of these findings that Gao et al1 did not consider. Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that does not develop overnight. There may be a window of opportunity for modification of the disease process, and this window may close as age advances. Expressed otherwise, the onset of neurodegenerative changes is more likely in older subjects, and once these changes are even subclinically established, it may be too late for statins to prevent the eventual clinical appearance of the disorder.